Teen Dance/Movement Therapy is a type of Expressive Arts therapy modality, based in using dance and movement in order to access the inner emotional and mental experiences of teens. More specifically, the American Dance Therapy Association defines Dance/Movement Therapy as using movement and dance to enhance and promote the physical, social, cognitive, and emotional integration. In other words, the premise of this therapy is because of the important connection between the mind, body, and spirit, body movement and dance can be used therapeutically, to help teens gain access to their mental and emotional experiences. This can in turn provide valuable insights to therapeutic work teens are engaging in.
Teen Dance-Movement Therapy sessions consist of therapists leading teens in different dance and movement techniques and activities. While doing so, therapists will help lead teens to explore certain thoughts and/or feelings, through the movements. During Dance/Movement Therapy sessions, there’s no sense of competition or even an emphasis on the quality or type of dancing; rather, the focus and benefit is on the process and experience of movement itself. And more specifically, how we can use dance and body movement to draw connections between their bodies, minds, and thoughts. While the focus and nature of each session may be different, the therapists design activities that will help teens to explore specific areas and/or struggles that they may be working on in other aspects of their treatment. Along these lines, it’s worth noting that the potential opportunities and quality of Teen Dance/Movement Therapy is largely dependent upon the therapist’s ability to craft the time in intentional, insightful ways for the teens, in order to set them up to make important discoveries. For this reason, our Teen Dance/Movement Therapist is a licensed and credentialed professional, with a focus on working with young people.
One of the great advantages of Teen Dance/Movement Therapy is the way in which the indirect approach tends to provide teens with a comfortable, safe setting that allows teens to explore their experiences, in an organic manner. At Paradigm New York, we offer Teen Dance/Movement Therapy sessions as one part of our overall treatment plans, which also incorporate a number of different approaches and modalities. We find this unison of modalities to be extremely useful, as the Teen Dance/Movement Therapy sessions tend to deepen, further, and encourage the important work teens are doing, in their talk therapy sessions, such as Individual and Family therapy. The result is that teens’ treatment experience at Paradigm New York is both holistic and comprehensive, as we support them to explore and address all aspects of their lives.
Paradigm New York is a residential treatment facility, located in Westchester, New York. Paradigm New York specializes in intensive holistic treatment and offers mental health and substance abuse care to teens ages 13-17.